Christmas is three days away and if you have some last minute shopping to accomplish for a classic rock lover in your life, might we recommend snagging one of these albums for the old school, long-haired rock fans you know and love.
Led Zeppelin II by Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin II is generally recognized for two things: Jimmy Page's best guitar solos and being one of the loudest albums ever released. The outcome of listening to this album will result in either ear plugs or head bumping depending on what kind of person you are. You can't go wrong with gifting a classic rock fan this album unless they already own it (which they probably do, just not legally). Give em' a hard copy!
The Wall by Pink Floyd
The Wall is one of the most complicated and ambitious pieces of rock & roll you'll ever hear in your life and that's why this is the Pink Floyd album that you should bury yourself in. Even though it's a cliche, personally, The Wall is my favorite Pink Floyd album and I'm sure anybody can agree that given the album's sprawling track listing, The Wall is one of the few albums that can put anybody into a daze at an instant. There's a little something here for everyone to fall in love with from the vast variety of songs on the album, especially Pink Floyd's biggest hits that were literally implanted into our brains. We've all listened to "Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2" and "Comfortably Numb", which live on as classics in their own way, but the album has some tracks which don't often earn the commendation they deserve that need a good listen.
Hunky Dory by David Bowie
David Bowie is nothing short of theatrical as well as elegantly lush, and as eerie as that might be, that's exactly what Hunky Dory is: David Bowie just in album format. Hunky Dory captures literally every aspect of Bowie's personality. It is no surprise that 75% of the lyrics from the album make absolutely no sense the first couple of times you listen to them, but somehow with Bowie's wistful, passionate, and (by turns) melancholic delivery it means something. The ballads are steered by a magnificent piano, commended by a theatrical time-honored arrangement as the remarkably memorable catchy chorus comes flying in. Hunky Dory is a classic in the sense that it's an oldie but a goodie and it will have you crashing your car into an opera house wearing only a gown . This album is a glamorous waterfall of emotions, just like Bowie himself.
Days of Future Passed by The Moody Blues
This whole record could be called The Wizard of Oz: On Drugs, but this album is a literal masterpiece, evoking a cohesive dream, tumbling gently over the majestic flowing of strings and horns. An actual orchestra was hired to help record the album. The Moody Blues have a flavor for limitless experimentation, and that's known all thanks to this album.
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols by The Sex Pistols
You know what really grinds our gears? The Sex Pistols lost their sting in the late 80s...first and foremost because anybody correlated to the band was either very old or very dead, but it's meaningful to remember that the Sex Pistols are one of the greatest punk bands to ever form. Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols will probably scare the s*** out of you and your mom but if you happen to know someone who has a passion for destruction, who doesn't happen to be your enemy - I suggest you get them this album. Or don't. Chances are they probably own the album already. All harsh bias jokes aside, this album is one of the most revolutionary punk rock albums to ever be released and John Lydon wrote a variety of hits ranging from "God Save The Queen" to "Anarchy In The U.K" covering political and societal topics in a brash, loud, and outrageous manner. This album is terrific for anybody who appreciates the cutting edge of the 70s.
Give The People What They Want by The Kinks
This is definitely more of a personal favorite. The Kinks managed to collaborate with various primitive yet modern patterns that delivered a timeless, vintage and an ironically younger sound while remaining personal yet cool. It's Ray Davies; it was no surprise that a legend like him managed to incorporate both soft, contemporary sounds with sharp outspoken lyrics that were carried out with effortless poise. Fulfilling the listeners with a face to face (no pun intended) experience either resulted in additional satisfaction for Davies or drawback for some because of the wry/rowdy material. The album itself is very dark and cynical, fluctuating on topics that range from interpersonal issues of lovers to the criminal face of the industry and just crime in general, Davies doesn't fail to radiate a raw yet beautiful sound that captures the cutting edge of rock and the authentic smooth yet cynical material of the 80's.
Plastic Ono Band by John Lennon
Let us forget John's Beatles legacy to start and take this collection as-is. I like to call this album 'The Naked Album', something that's never been exposed in rock history. Complete mind nudity. Lennon created a raw masterpiece with the confessional nature of this album, it's not an ostentatious album made to reveal his good side. It's personal and pretty f***ed up...so personal it's almost embarrassing to listen to. Rough and narcissistic around the edges is more than one way to characterize the album - and John, himself. The album begins with "Mother," a sentimental piece written to his late mother where he exposes his feelings of bitterness and emotions, and "Working Class Hero" where he also reveals his ego "As soon as you're born they make you feel small," and "When you can't really function you're so full of fear." Though the stigma on Lennon is pretty real, his realness on this album is even more real. Genuinely real.
Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles
By far, my favorite Beatles album out because of how experimental and weird it is. While being extremely different from the other albums, every song on the album is a hit, the Beatles can do no wrong. One of the trippiest albums ever but yet the notable beauty behind Magical Mystery Tour is the idea that a stoned guy and a sober guy can sit beside each other and enjoy this album just as much as anybody else. How many psychedelic albums can do that? Not that many.
Odessey & Oracle by The Zombies
Odessey & Oracle is the dreamiest album I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. The perfect arrangement of melodies reveal a darkness upon itself. It's not all rainbows and sunshines, the evil twist to the album brings in more depth than you can imagine. The bouncy pop from "Care Of Cell 44" to the psychedelia of "Butcher's Tale" and the seduction of "Time of the Season" sincerely makes this whole album a diverse piece of art that took a turn for the best in musical history.
The Velvet Underground & Nico by The Velvet Underground & Nico
Prior to talking about the album, it's necessary to understand The Velvet Underground's unrepeatable history. Primarily, the VU are one of the most original and influential bands to emerge from the 60s. The Velvet Underground didn't exactly fit aptly into any of the classic genres or niches that were being handled to divide bands which resulted in some shock to the mass audiences and then intense cult followings from the fans who "got" their records. The Velvet Underground & Nico is an atmospheric, druggy, and menacing kind of album that heavily influenced everyone from David Bowie to every punk-garage band from the early 70s to the present-day. Causing a shift in rock music without yielding to common rock classifications, this album is a revolutionary anachronism and gifting such an artifact to a classic rock fan would be pretty dank if you ask me.